Skip to main content Accessibility help

Influence of Building Construction Work On Aspergillus Infection in a Hospital Setting

  • E. E. Cooper (a1), M. A. O'Reilly (a1), D. I. Guest (a2) and S. C. Dharmage (a3)


Background And Objective:

Aspergillus fumigatus is a major pathogen causing nosocomial infections. Hospital outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis have been associated with the renovation and construction of buildings. Building construction work for fire safety upgrading was undertaken during a 16-week period in 2001 at Box Hill Hospital. This study was designed to examine the effect of construction on invasive aspergillosis when using standard and additional protective measures.


Baseline air sampling was conducted in 18 areas. The validity of the air sampling was assessed by comparing the ability of two air samplers to detect Aspergillus conidia. Surveillance of nosocomial Aspergillus infection was conducted by reviewing the records of patients with a sputum culture positive for Aspergillus and those prescribed amphotericin or itraconazole for the period of construction activity and the same period the previous year.


Aspergillus was isolated infrequently and there was no statistically significant difference in the levels of viable pathogenic fungi between areas where construction work was undertaken and areas where it was not undertaken. A moderate agreement was observed between the two air samplers (kappa = 0.4; P < .05). There was no difference in the incidence of invasive aspergillosis between 2000 and 2001 (incidence density ratio, 1.2; 95% confidence interval, 0.3 to 4.1).


The influence of construction work performed with protective measures needs to be examined in an environment with higher levels of airborne fungi to confirm the findings of this study (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2003;24:472-476).


Corresponding author

Infection Control and Epidemiology Unit, Southern Health, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia


Hide All
1.Sessa, A, Meroni, M, Battini, G, et al. Nosocomial outbreak of Aspergillus fumigatus infection among patients in a renal unit? Nephrol Dial Transplant 1996;11:13221324.
2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Guidelines for preventing opportunistic infections among hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. MMWR 2000;49(RR10):1128.
3.Thursky, K, Szer, J, Grigg, A, Slavin, M. Invasive aspergillosis infections in allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipients at Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). Presented at the Australian Society for Infectious Diseases Conference; April 7-11, 2001; Melbourne, Australia.
4.Health Canada. Construction-related nosocomial infections in patients in healthcare facilities: decreasing the risk of Aspergillus, Legionella and other infections. Can Commun Dis Rep 2001;27(suppl 2):146.
5.Loo, V, Bertrand, C, Dixon, C, et al. Control of construction-associated nosocomial aspergillosis in an antiquated hematology unit. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1996;17:360364.
6.Latge, J-P. Aspergillus fumigatus and aspergillosis. Clin Microbiol Rev 1999;12:310350.
7.Einsele, H, Quabeck, K, Muller, K, Rothenhofer, I, Loftier, J, Schaefer, U. Prediction of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis from colonisation of lower respiratory tract before marrow transplantation. Lancet 1998;352:1443.
8.Bodey, G. The emergence of fungi as major hospital pathogens. J Hosp Infect 1988;11(suppl A):411426.
9.Wadowsky, R, Benner, S. Distribution of the genus Aspergillus in hospital room air conditioners. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1987;8:516518.
10.American Health Consultants. Aspergillosis: a deadly dust may be in the wind during renovations. Hospital Infection Control 1995;22:125130.
11.Thio, CL, Smith, D, Merz, WG, et al. Refinements of environmental assessment during an outbreak investigation of invasive aspergillosis in a leukemia and bone marrow transplant unit. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2000;21:1823.
12.Pasquarella, C, Pitzurra, O, Savino, A. The index of microbial air contamination. J Hosp Infect 2000;46:241256.

Influence of Building Construction Work On Aspergillus Infection in a Hospital Setting

  • E. E. Cooper (a1), M. A. O'Reilly (a1), D. I. Guest (a2) and S. C. Dharmage (a3)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed